“Keep Dunkin Off Route 6A” – Part 1

As Dunkin Donuts has once again floated the possibility locating within the Cape Cod Farms Convenience Store on Route 6A, the calls have come in once again that we protect the Old King’s Highway from this intrusion.

I wish that it were so easy. Let’s talk first in generalities – and as if this were coming in as a stand alone use.  Starting at this level makes it a bit easier to address, then we will get down to the specifics.

If we strip away the name, and just look at the use, we are looking at a restaurant use. To stop the location of a coffee shop/bakery on Route 6A we would have to banish all such uses, either by prohibiting restaurants, or by defining various classifications of restaurants, and prohibiting all coffee shops and bakeries.

An alternative, which Dennis has adopted, is to establish limits on formula based businesses being able to locate within particular areas. As I discussed on May 2, 2013, Formula Based Business – An Explanation, we can establish limits on formula based businesses, but we cannot ban them if they bend to our design criteria.

One comment that has been received suggested that an empty bank building up the street could host a use similar to a Dunkin. In actuality, it probably could. As I reviewed back in May 2013, a franchise business would be reviewed against the standards established in the Formula Based Business By-law as follows:

FORMULA BASED BUSINESS: A type of retail sales establishment (not including consumer services), or a restaurant, tavern, bar, or other food establishment which is under common ownership or control or is a franchise and is one (1) of ten (10) or more other businesses or establishments worldwide maintaining three or more of the following features:

FORMULA BASED FOOD SERVICE

1.  Standardized menu

2. Trademark or service mark, defined as a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods from one party from those of others, on products or as part of the store design.

Such as on cups, napkins, bags, boxes, wrappers, straws, store signs, or advertising devices.

3.    A standardized façade.

4.  Standardized décor and color scheme used throughout the interior of the establishment.

5.  Standardized uniform including but not limited to aprons, pants, shirts, smocks or dresses, hat, and pins (other than name tags).

6.  Standardized signage.

For a franchise proposal on Route 6A in the vacant bank building, the franchise would need to address these standards to not be considered a formula based business. .

1.  Standardized menu

If it is a franchise restaurant, more than likely it would have a standard menu. While there might be adjustments, it would be hard to tell a sub shop or coffee shop to completely change what it served.

Score 1 for Standardized Menu.

2. Trademark or service mark, defined as a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods from one party from those of others, on products or as part of the store design.

Such as on cups, napkins, bags, boxes, wrappers, straws, store signs, or advertising devices.

The normal franchise packaging would be hard to change, whether Subway, Mary Lou’s or Starbucks.

Score 2 for Trademark or service mark, etc.

3.    A standardized façade.

If the bank facade were not to change, there would be no standardization of the facade.

No standardization on facade.

4.  Standardized décor and color scheme used throughout the interior of the establishment.

Tables, chairs, counter service areas are all easily adaptable to any location, this is an easy standardization test to avoid.

No standardization on decor.

5.  Standardized uniform including but not limited to aprons, pants, shirts, smocks or dresses, hat, and pins (other than name tags).

Uniforms are easy to abandon, or modify if the location is a desirable one. It could be pretty easy to have everyone where a white shirt, rather than the Mary Lou’s traditional pink one, aprons and hats can similarly be easily changed, or not required.

No standardization on uniforms.

6.  Standardized signage.

Signs are often emblazoned with a business trademark and trademarked colors.  However, historic district guidelines can, and have, shaped the look of signs up and down Route 6A. Place on top of this Formula Business guidelines, and alternative designs can be expected that can avoid the standardized corporate sign.

No standardization on signage.

So, in the end, it is possible for a Formula Based Business to locate on Route 6A if it bends to the rules that the Town of Dennis have established to regulate such uses.

 

 

 

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